Introduction by Dan Toppari

 

Rick and his wife Kathy are lifelong residents of St. Catharines and are the proud parents of three children, Zachary, Jessica and Lauren. Rick Dykstra was elected to the House of Commons for the first time in January 2006. Rick has been appointed as a government member to two senior parliamentary committees, the Standing Committees of Finance and Health. Rick also had a distinguished political career at the municipal level. From 1991-1997, Rick served two terms on St. Catharines city council representing St. Patrick's Ward.

 

Rick announced the creation of a National Council to advise the government on Senior's Issues. Rick also outlined nearly $14 million in spending on initiatives for seniors. The initiatives are important for a rapidly growing segment of the population. "In the next 25 years, the number of seniors in Canada will double to nine million," he said. "We are demographically one of the oldest ridings in the country. Over 27% of Niagara residents are 55 or older. In October the Government introduced pension splitting a tax saving measure for seniors.

To keep in touch with St. Catharines Rick has held a couple of town hall meetings where people can show up and discuss the important issues with him face to face. Rick's Website is WWW'RICKDYKSTRA.CA his staff is constantly posting new information about the news of the day. The website has a blog where Rick writes about the lighter side of being a MP. Regular newsletters through emails, regular mail and flyers are sent out to tell to people what is going on in Ottawa . Since the election over 40,000 emails 2,000 letters and dozens of calls every day have been received by the office. Rick has attended over 600 meetings in St. Catharines and another 250 in Ottawa .

In a Minority Government the opposition parties have majority of seats on the committees. So getting government legislation passed is far from a sure thing and can be frustrating. Some of the issues are Accountability Act, Senate Reform, Renewal of the Anti-Terrorist bill, the Bill C-9 to end the use of conditional sentences for serious crimes and the bill C-10 mandatory minimum sentences imposed for using a gun in a crime.   

To clean up the environment the government's clean air act will impose mandatory emissions regulations on big industrial polluters.  1.5 billion dollars will be invested in renewable energy projects and 230 million in research and development of clean technologies. 300 million will be invested in the Energy Efficiency to help business and households in retrofitting their homes and facilities to reduce energy waste.

In his short time in Parliament, Rick has already left an impression amongst his colleagues as a tireless worker and person focused on delivering results for his community.

 Don Beard thanked Rick Dykstra